Review of the film Dune: The best-of-Hollywood tells an incomplete story.
Dune, which is currently available in theaters and on HBO Max, is a risky bet. It’s not like Star Wars, another enormous science fiction franchise that has defined and inspired the genre. There are no lightsaber battles, dogfights, or space conflicts on this planet. Near the midway point, the first large-scale action occurs (but it does not cease after that). On a global journey, its characters don’t trade jabs or ping-pong across planets. The film Dune is largely set on the planet of the same name. And there’s no humour here; it’s all self-important. Dune is a space opera analogous to Game of Thrones, but without the sex and humour.
Review of the film Dune: This is, however, exactly what we should have expected. After all, Denis Villeneuve — who also co-wrote the film with Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange) and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, A Star Is Born) — is the director of Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.
With Dune, taken from the first half (or so) of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, Villeneuve is now working on a far larger scale.
The picture necessitates a significant amount of worldbuilding. This is the subject of the first non-action half of Dune, and Villeneuve does his best to make it as engaging as possible. Villeneuve uses a variety of length scenes to explain the workings of the desert planet on which the film is based. There’s a long one to set the stage for the planet’s massive sandworms.